The month of May is up to its usual tricks by teasing us with the weather. The minds behind the first rooftop ice-rink in Europe decided to call the bluff and re-launch Skylight presented by Tobacco Dock – the 2017 smash success – for a second year. This being my first visit to both Skylight and Tobacco Dock, I was in for a treat.
Now the first (and only) rule of a roof top bar as far as I am concerned is that it must have a great view. Skylight does not disappoint. London’s iconic skyline never grows old no matter which angle you look at it from. Drenched in a warm evening glow this would have been enough for me, but alas I was to be spoiled at this party.
With my only pre-requisite met and then some, I had to come up with some more rules. Serve great drinks. Skylight is based over three levels with what seemed like a bar in every corner so not much chance of being caught out there. A vast range or beers, wines, spirits and cocktails including the best watermelon mojito I have ever had (and I have had a lot). Customers will be struggling to decide what they want to wet their whistle on.
Serve great food. Street food is on the menu as trader Yiro is back and is serving the ultimate summer dishes with their focus on world-flavours. Well-fed and cultured.
At this point having run out of rules I went about exploring what else the venue has to offer, which turns out, is pretty much something for everyone.
A capacity of 650 means you get a perfect balance of intimacy and ambience. Benches and tables provide that beer garden vibe (but with that previously mentioned incredible view). Lounge areas with bean bags and blankets for those who want to unwind. And for those looking for some more fun and games, four croquet lawns (two outdoor) and two pétanque courts and a penalty shoot out challenge to celebrate the World Cup are on offer. With prices starting from £15, teams made up of two to six people for croquet and two to four people for pétanque will be able to book the game of their choice in half hour or 45-minute slots. It would be silly not to get involved.
With those long summer days on the horizon, Skylight has gone out of its way to keep you occupied. From the World Cup to Wimbledon and everything in between there is always a party to be had up on this roof. Even morning and evening yoga, so I guess Skylight is good for your health too.
With my camera and phone littered with snaps of a London skyline sunset I called it a night. Maybe next year Skylight and/or Tobacco Dock will disappoint but somehow, I don’t quite believe that.
Skylight at Tobacco Dock, Tobacco Dock, Pennington St Entrance, St Katherine’s and Wapping, London, E1W 2SF, England.
The closest station is Wapping Overground, which is 0.4 miles away and just under a 10-minute walk.
Entry to Skylight is free and is open Thursday and Friday from 5:00pm to 11:00pm and Saturday and Sunday from midday to 11:00pm. The venue can also be hired on all days of the week. Large groups are welcome free of charge but booking ahead is advisable to ensure a desired time and tables together.
Croquet prices: 45-minute games on the indoor court costs £25 whilst the outdoor court with views over the city costs £35. A 30-minute game of Pétanque costs £15 on the outdoor court.
Sam Brady is a London based freelance writer and photographer covering travel and lifestyle.